Just off the mainland between Airlie Beach and Bowen lies Gloucester Islands, a scenic group of inshore continental islands that make up Gloucester Islands National Park. Gloucester Island, the largest, is home to a colony of endangered Proserpine rock-wallabies. Sandy and coral rubble beaches, rainforest and seclusion are some of this park's main attractions. The islands and surrounding waters are part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and are protected.
More remote than other parks in the Whitsundays, these islands offer a quite retreat. Camp at Bona or East Side Bays (Gloucester Island), or at Armit or Saddleback Islands. Bona Bay (Gloucester Island), the largest campground, has a good anchorage, toilets, picnic tables, and a shelter shed. East Side Bay (Gloucester Island) is set between two rocky headlands. Armit Island has a toilet and picnic tables. Saddleback is close to the mainland and has picnic tables. Campers must be self-sufficient. Take fresh water, a fuel stove for cooking and insect repellent. Open fires and generators are prohibited. Remove all rubbish to the mainland.
Accessible by boat from Dingo Beach or Bowen. Commercial vessel transfers to the Gloucester Islands National Park are available to campers. Please contact a local tourism information centre or booking agent for more information.
Gloucester Island, 950 km northwest of Brisbane, is visible from the town of Bowen. The island was seen and erroneously named "Cape Gloucester" by British explorer James Cook in 1770. The name "Cape Gloucester" has been used informally for areas on or near Gloucester Island.
Camping is permitted at Bona Bay and East Side Bay on Gloucester Island, and on Saddleback Island and Armit Island . Advance bookings/permits are essential.
QPWS Whitsunday Information Centre
Cnr Shute Harbour and Madalay Roads, Airlier Beach, Qld
Phone: (07) 4946 7022